The year is starting off pretty cool. I’ve done some things I’ve been too nervous to try, including my very first spin class and running outside… in winter! Might not sound like much, but it was. And it was awesome.

The spin class was fantastic. I knew 2 weeks ahead of time that I was going in, so I had 2 weeks to prep. (And panic!) I did the best cardio I could without a gym membership. I dusted off some old workout videos, ran the steps of my basement and perused Pinterest to find those “you can have a swimsuit model’s ass if you do these 5 things every morning” workouts. Must have paid off a little, because when class time hit, I did pretty damn good. I required one quick dismount to work out a calf cramp, but as soon as it passed, back in the saddle I went. It was a tough class, but so much fun, and had me angry with myself that I had waited so long to try it.

It was about an hour after class ended when I got the feeling back… down there. I suffered from a mild case of spinner’s bottom. Pretty sure you won’t find that listed on WebMD, but it exists and you’ll quickly discover it after 45 minutes of hard peddling. (Well, 60 minutes when you count in the 15 minutes of warm up prior to class starting.) The “injury” made for some good comedy and two days later, I was back to good. It’s all just part of the experience.

Next up was running outside during the winter. In the past, I’ve been a Spring to Fall jogger. I would shut it down when the Mercury dropped and pick it up again on April 16th, when I’m no longer a single parent. That is, until this year. Inspired by my spin success, I bought a cute little winter runner’s hat with a hole out the back for my pony tail and out I went.

Now, I do have my limitations. I had originally set a 25 degree temp cut off. Below that and my Raynerd’s kicks in and the pain in my fingers and toes is too much to bare. But I’ve broken that rule once already and laced up on a 24 degree day. (I can be quite the rebel.) Next limitation was running on the road. No chance at that, since I’m afraid to get hit by a car. (Ok, you gotta give me that one as a pretty valid limit!) But wait, I already broke that rule, too. When sidewalks don’t get shoveled, you run the road. But suuuurely I would never run when it’s dark outside! Oh, yeah. Until the day I did it. (I’ve quickly learned that my “limitations” were just excuses for not moving.)

It’s a pretty bad ass feeling out on the road, sometimes with a little snow or slush under foot, jamming to your tunes and, since it’s winter, often times in the dark. While I’m running, I think of everything. Including questioning myself as to why the hell I’m out there! I’m not a natural runner. Can’t stress that enough that it does not come naturally to me. It’s a down right pain in the spinner’s ass. I sweat. A lot. It’s hard to breathe. My legs get tired. I’m slooooow. I could go on. But it’s my time to challenge myself and become better. Such a love-hate relationship.

I’m at week 5, day 3 in my couch to 10k program. I’m trying to trust myself that I can get through it and run *gulp* six miles. Some days are harder than others, but so far, I’m enjoying the ride.